Month: September 2016

Take The Risk of Connection

Take The Risk of Connection

Take The Risk of Connection

John Zinsser wants us to wake up, and really “connect”. In this eye-opener, John goes out on a limb and challenges the audience to have real connection in this world. He reshapes our understanding of what we truly risk on a day-to-day, to help us understand the need for connecting as a means for growth, and trusting others on the outskirt of separation.

Congrats to Ivan and his team of CreativeMornings/Charleston for this gem of a talk!

Video by: Jay Wayne Productions, in collaboration with: Mac Kilduff


via Swiss Miss

September 29, 2016 at 11:56PM

Universe App

Universe App

Universe App


The makes of an app called Universe stopped by at our Friends Happy Hour last night and demoed their app. Everyone was blown away. What a beautifully experimental iPhone app they have built! I would suggest they’ve create a new medium for the mobile world.

The app’s atomic unit is a verse, a 3×5 grid for infinite creativity: art, stories, interactive experiences, radical video collages, immersive soundscapes, musical instruments, even games. Or you can go the practical route and make a portfolio, invitation, how-to guide, recipe, or even a business card.

Download the App, look at examples, then learn how to use it.

I can’t wait to see my ten year old play around wit it! So many possibilities!


via Swiss Miss

September 29, 2016 at 11:42PM

Friday Link Pack

Friday Link Pack

Friday Link Pack

Always keep coming back to this one by Louis CK.

– OMG! —> BRIXO blocks are chrome-coated building blocks that act as electric conductors. They interlock to produce complete simple circuits with no wires involved, adding lights, motion and sound to any construction. They are LEGO compatible folks!

Panda Stamp. Cute.

– New York Public Library Installs Tiny Trains to Deliver Books

– I really don’t like houseeshoes (had to wear them as a kid) but I do like these simple crochet slippers.

– Grace Bonney’s new book “In The Company Of Women” has a launch event on October 5th! I’ll be there! You should come too!

– Jason Polan collaborated with Uniqlo on a T-Shirt line. What’s not to love? (His giraffe’s are my favorite!)

You think you have one to-do list, but really you have three. (via)

– Argentinian design studio Sudaca makes beautiful bookshelves. You can watch them while they make it. Live!

– Interesting long read: On How to Disagree

– This reversible bra is pretty cool.

– “Power is about making a difference in the world by influencing others.” The Power Paradox

– This Rainbow Cord Taco by This Is Ground made me chuckle. ( I use my silver one daily.)

– What an interesting looking drip coffee contraption.

This silver notepad makes me laugh every time I sit down at my desk. Well done, Playtype.

5 Foreign sayings that just don’t translate

– Divorces should be looked at more as a “courageous and positive act.” Angelina’s Divorce Shows How ‘Failed Marriages’ Are Failing Us

– Our Tattly Halloween Set is pretty cool.


via Swiss Miss

September 29, 2016 at 11:05PM



Tonic Mountain – Spotify

I discovered this on Daily Mix.

I heard Barenaked Ladies’ “Baby Seat,” skipped through a song by Beck from “Sea Change,” heard another number that was blah and then…

You know it when you hear it, paraphrasing the Supreme Court on pornography.

I always thought Tonic was a wimpy act, closer to Starland Vocal Band than Alice In Chains, BOY WAS I WRONG!

Yes, they had that big hit “If You Could Only See,” but “Mountain” isn’t playing to the cheap seats, it’s not pop music made for coin, it’s like something out of the glory days of FM radio, when testing limits and providing substance was the goal, the empty sugar calories of Top Forty being completely irrelevant.

Oh, what a long strange trip it’s been.

MTV started with the classic rockers with videos, Rod Stewart, other acts that had broken in Europe where the visual format mattered.

Then the rest of the oldsters poured through the gate, Tom Petty, Don Henley, and then Duran Duran blew the paradigm wide open, it was all new acts with new music.

And then Michael Jackson widened the horizon, MTV became a big tent.

And then when the decade turned, from the eighties to the nineties, production became everything, pop made inroads, but rock soldiered on, even if we sometimes considered it ersatz, with the ultimately underrated Matchbox Twenty ruling.

And then it went totally urban, hip-hop and pop, and that sound has been dominating for the entire twenty first century, it’s like rock is a lost art, except for the shoegazers, you know, the boys with the thin voices and the thin guitars who believe they can bring the magic back if they just get enough attention.

And then you hear something like “Mountain” and you’re brought back to where you once belonged, it feels so good, it’s like discovering a Dead Sea Scroll. Whew!

It starts with an acoustic guitar, like a graybeard sitting around a campfire, completely disconnected from society, picking for himself as opposed to the audience.

And then there’s this descending figure, like someone’s telling you their life story, not someone famous, but a regular joe, like you and me, the people who count, and then…

A bit after thirty seconds, the guitars start to spit lightning, lighting up the sky, and a mellifluous voice sits atop the whole thing.

She came down
From the mountain
And I
I stood my ground
On the mountain

And the guitars ring like bells in a cathedral, spouting religion, you become an instant believer, and that descending figure hooks you in its electric iteration and Emerson Hart is twisting and turning the words and you can feel it in your gut.

Like a fire I’m drawn to her lust
I can’t run from her, but lord I must
Like a demon I’m drawn to her flame
I’m gonna burn calling her name
I’m gonna burn calling her name

It’s loud, but it’s intimate. You’re twisting and turning in this section, like a roller coaster after the big hill, and then…

The whole thing amps up, everybody turns it up to 11, everybody’s firing on all cylinders, but unlike with today’s speedy metal it’s not overbearing, it’s not too much, it’s not made to turn you off, rather it’s a pill you cannot help but swallow, one that will take you on a magic trip.

And when it gets quiet again, with the acoustic instruments reappearing.

And then it gets so HEAVY!

It’s like Led Zeppelin filtered through a modern paradigm, the dynamics, the loud to soft and back to loud again, with lyricism and melody baked in, it’s INFECTIOUS!

And if we, are patient
Then maybe, we’ll get it straight
On the mountain

Oh, this image resonates. I love the city accoutrements, everything at your fingertips, but it can become oppressive, I can breathe in the mountains, atop a hill, free, that’s where the insights come, in a vacuum where you’re alone with your thoughts.

And the music.

Used to be we knew the songs by heart, we sang them to ourselves, they were playing in our head. Now we can take them everywhere.

I couldn’t believe it, I had to fire up Wikipedia, learn more about this act.

I read this track was from their debut, “Lemon Parade,” and that they’d remade it acoustically just now, in 2016, via PledgeMusic.

So I pulled that up.

Same song, but different. I missed the dynamics of the original, even though it was satisfying on its own merits.

But, was this album so popular, was it the “Jagged Little Pill” for a subsection of the population, to the point fans were clamoring for a redo?

“Lemon Parade” went platinum, then again everything went platinum in 1996.

Then again, albums come out today and instantly disappear. And when you go back to them, eh.

So now I’ve got to listen to more of “Lemon Parade.” I start with the opening track, “Open Your Eyes,” I can’t believe it, it’s so heavy yet so lyrical, I get it immediately. I’m coursing through the album, I play “If You Could Only See,” find out that after the light intro it too gets heavy. I go on Deezer Elite to hear “Mountain” in CD quality.

And it’s all because of Spotify’s Daily Mix.

We live in a golden era. I must not have been on the mailing list back then, I don’t remember owning “Lemon Parade.” And it would have disappeared completely if not for the modern paradigm, wherein everything’s at your fingertips for one low price.

But I needed someone to lead me to it.

And the algorithm did. Lord only knows how it knew. Lord knows how I missed this the first time around, “Mountain” could reestablish your allegiance to rock music, if you only heard it.

But it was cut twenty years ago. The band members are now fifty.

But what I wanted most was to SEE THEM!

Not for the production, not for the dancing, but the sound. I wanted to nod my head and mouth the words, be entranced, taken away.

“Mountain” is as fresh as yesterday. I mean Wednesday.

You’ll be stunned.

Tonic Mountain – YouTube electric

Tonic Mountain – YouTube acoustic


via Lefsetz Letter

September 29, 2016 at 09:49AM

No Success Without Fear

No Success Without Fear

When Elon Musk unveiled his audacious vision to colonize Mars this week, commentators had as much to say about his hubris and lack or fear as they did about the plan itself. They remarked that Musk’s greatest strength is probably that he has never been afraid to fail. That’s just not true.
Of course he has. If he weren’t afraid of failure, he wouldn’t be invested in success. You can’t simultaneously care about something and then shrug your shoulders in the face of failure.
Fear and success go hand-in-hand.

The difference between Musk and many of us is what he fears more than failing, is not giving it his best shot. Our fear of failure has never been more real than it is today, in a world where we have more power than ever to determine our path in work and life. It’s scary as an entrepreneur to be the one creating the ideas, launching the business or leading the team without someone higher up the food chain to blame if it goes wrong. It’s also thrilling to know you are responsible when it works.

When you look back at anything you’ve achieved (however small), you realise that your success was always preceded by fear. And it will be again. You might not be on a mission to Mars, but your mission feels just as important and scary to you as Elon Musk’s feels to him. The fear is a sign that you care, and that you’re doing meaningful work. Don’t let it hold you back.

Image by SpaceX.

No Success Without Fear | From The Story of Telling


via The Story of Telling

September 29, 2016 at 08:36AM

Branding Tips from 5 Awesome Apps

Branding Tips from 5 Awesome Apps

Debbie Laskey, MBA

Take a look at anyone’s smartphone or tablet and you’re bound to swipe through screen after screen of applications, or more commonly known as apps. Some apps are pre-programmed into the device, such as, calendar, maps, and stocks. And, of course, there are also apps for contacts, a camera, and social networks. But others are chosen by the device owner. Many marketers are curious as to why you chose the apps on your device, but more importantly for all marketers, what do popular and successful apps teach us about brand equity and branding? Here are some branding tips from my five favorite apps.


This app is useful because it allows the user to provide the URLs for countless blogs, and then each day, new posts for each blog are available for reading in one easy space. No more searching for each blog’s URL separately. No more searching through Twitter for each blog’s latest post. This is a one-stop app if you enjoy reading blog posts and follow more than a few bloggers.


How does your brand communicate your content? How often do you communicate with your audiences? Does your brand have a blog?


This app is memorable because it provides a daily piece of art with information about the specific piece of art, its artist, the time it was created, and where it is housed. The art spans all genres and time periods. Users are just as likely to see a piece of art by Jackson Pollack as a sculpture from the Acropolis. If you cannot visit a museum or gallery on a regular basis, you can get your art fix on your mobile device with this app.


Does your brand think of your customers and prospects as art lovers? This app reminds all marketers to create high quality images while simultaneously taking us on a daily museum visit without standing in line or having to deal with public transportation or parking. When you show visual content (photos and videos) to your audiences, how much time do you spend on making sure that the visual content is high quality?


This app is widely used and enjoyed by men and women, adults and children, and all ethnicities, and as a result, Instagram stands out in social media. It offers the opportunity to share photos and videos to tell both personal and brand stories – and it is incredibly easy to use.

Instagram changed its logo earlier in 2016. While some users expressed their disappointment with the logo change, the logo change did nothing to damage the integrity of the brand or users’ brand experience. The company spokespeople shared comments that explained their reasoning in changing the logo, and users seemed to accept the explanations. If your brand changed your logo, would your audiences accept it?


This app offers Instagram users an option to customize the backgrounds of their posts before adding words. Wordswag has a variety of backgrounds including nature, shapes, and colors. It also offers a search function so users can search for words such as people, fruit, sports, and many, many more. Users can also access their camera roll to create customized backgrounds.


While there are countless apps to enrich a user’s enjoyment of Instagram, Wordswag offers both an easy-to-use and wide-ranging experience. With that in mind, how does your brand go one step beyond the competition and improve the customer experience?


This app is just one of many weather apps that provide users with the capability to customize their view of the weather with cats and dogs. Users can choose their own themes, such as Halloween Cats, Yoga Cats, Holiday Kitties – and users can also add their own cat photos. There’s even an option to customize the app with a famous cat that’s taken over social media, Grumpy Cat. This cat could easily have been a replacement for one of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs, Grumpy.


While users may like your brand and have a strong connection with your brand, do you offer the option to customize your product or service? Users may like your brand more if you do.

There you have it, five branding tips from five apps I check every day. What are your fave apps, and what branding tips do they offer? Please chime in.

The post Branding Tips from 5 Awesome Apps appeared first on DuetsBlog.


via DuetsBlog

September 29, 2016 at 02:12AM